The value of thrift

The value of thriftI am very thankful J has been quite a thrifty girl. I think my wife has done a commendable job teaching and influencing her!

I have never had to grapple or struggle with ‘buy me this, daddy’ type of requests from my daughter and really that is such a great blessing. I am heartened to know that she understands we are not well to do and have to be more careful with the way we spend money.

I remember fondly when she first went to school, she had a significant number of friends from well-to-do families. One day she came back telling us that one of her classmates was given twenty dollars a day for pocket money. In her own innocent way, she told her friend that she gets a dollar a day and that is more than enough. Unexpectedly, her friend actually asked her mum to give her a dollar for school instead! We had a good laugh over it.

I think many children grow up comparing their possessions and that of their parents at a very early age. I am no expert in child psychology, but I think there could be a pretty negative influence on their character. How much is enough? Do our children even understand what it means by enough?

I want to continue to help J understand that it is alright not to have something if you cannot afford it. Work hard and learn to save. Learn to be contented and live within your means.

I was shocked when it was revealed in one of the current affairs programs aired in Melbourne that many in their twenties do not understand the concept of thrift and savings. They spend using credit card like there is no tomorrow, racking up massive debts. When asked why didn’t they try to be more prudent, their reply was simply that they were never taught to save! It was someone else’s fault.

I think this is a life skill that schools should be teaching. But more so, I think all dads and mums have the responsibility to teach their children thrift.

Do you agree?